Frequently asked questions
- NEW 1. WHICH PHASES HAS THE CALL?
Submission of all documentation on the platform enabled by the General State Administration.
Administrative documentation correction (only in case of being required).
ONLY ACCEPTED APPLICATIONS
Presentation of a video explaining the proposal.
Evaluation of the technical documentation and the video presented by the Technical Office and the Instructing Body.
Public pitch defense of the proposal.
Proposal of grants awarded.
- NEW 2. HOW DOES THE SIZE OF A COMPANY AFFECTS TO THE INTENSITY OF THE GRANT?
European Regulation 651/2014 indicates the maximum limits of public aid that can be granted for innovation processes. Depending on whether an applicant is a large enterprise, medium-sized enterprise (less than 250 employees and annual turnover less than EUR 50 million or annual balance sheet total less than EUR 43 million) or small enterprise (less than 50 employees and annual turnover or annual balance sheet total less than EUR 10 million), the limits vary depending on the program.
In Commercial Projects, the subsidy may be up to a maximum of 80% for small companies, up to 75% for medium-sized companies and up to 65% for large companies.
In Pre-Commercial Projects, the subsidy may amount to a maximum of 60% for small companies, up to 50% for medium-sized companies and up to 40% for large companies.
In the case of groupings of companies, these percentages refer to each one separately and only to its part of the budget.
- NEW 3. IF I APPLIED TO THE FIRTS CALL, CAN I APPLY TO THE SECOND CALL?
There is no limitation in this regard. Applications may be submitted to different calls for proposals.
- NEW 4. HOW MANY APPLICATIONS CAN BE SUBMITTED BY A BENEFICIARY?
During the period of each call, the presentation of more than one Idea, Project or both by the same beneficiary is allowed, individually or forming a consortium with other beneficiaries, provided that the projects are not intended to develop the same activity or one of a very similar nature.
As an exception, natural persons may not be beneficiaries of subsidies for projects in the pre-commercial and commercial phases. Only legal persons and associations or groups thereof may be beneficiaries of such grants.
Neither may foreign legal persons or the groups in which they participate be beneficiaries of the grants regulated by this Terms and Conditions.
- NEW 5. DO I HAVE TO JUSTIFY THE TRL LEVEL OF MY PROPOSAL IN THE TECHNICAL MEMORY?
Yes, it is essential to justify the initial state of technological maturity of the Idea or Project presented. For this purpose, solid evidence of the previous phases and validations that have been carried out to reach said TRL must be provided.
- 6. WHAT IS THE COMPATIBILITY OF THE AID FORM PORTS 4.0 WITH THE AID FROM VARIOUS EUROPEAN FUNDS?
The compatibility of the aid of Ports 4.0 Fund with other public aid is allowed, whenever it is not justified with the same eligible costs and the amounts foreseen in the European Regulation for the exemption of state aid notification are not exceeded together.
- 7. REGARDING THE MAXIMUN POSSIBLE AID TO BE GRANTED TO A PROJECT, DO THE FUND'S TERMS & CONDITIONS OF THE CALL OR THE EUROPEAN REGULATION 651/2014 PREVAIL?
There is no prevalence between the Terms & Conditions of the Ports Fund 4.0 and the European Regulation governing exemption from state aid notification. They must be complied with simultaneously. For this purpose, the percentage of aid will depend on each project, on what percentage of the total budget corresponds to the innovative component and on the limitations established by the European Regulation according to different factors, which allows up to 80% of the eligible expenses to be reached.
- 8. WHAT ARE THE ELEGIBLE EXPENSES FOR THE AID?
Eligible expenditure is deemed to be that which clearly corresponds to the nature of the subsidised activity, is consistent with the innovative component of the project, is included in the project budget and is considered necessary for the implementation of the project and is carried out within the maximum time limits stipulated in article 7 of this order or, if less, in the conditions for acceptance of the aid. Under no circumstances may the acquisition cost of the eligible expenditure exceed the market value. Details of these expenses, meeting the conditions described above, can be found in Article 18 of the Fund's Terms & Conditions
- 9. ARE THE EXPENSES RELATED TO THE PRESENTATION OF THE APPLICATION ELEGIBLE EXPENSES?
The expenses related to the presentation of the application will not be considered eligible because they do not correspond to the innovative component of the project, they are not considered necessary for the development of the project because they are not in the exploitation phase of the project, and they are prior to the deadlines from which the resolution of the concession of the subsidy is published. As detailed in the Fund's Terms & Conditions, the Accelerator offers a free mentor to each idea or project submitted who will advise on the presentation of the documentation. The Accelerator also offers free training for all those individuals or companies that need to expand or strengthen their knowledge of the port sector, as well as in the preparation of the Business Model Canvas (technical document required for the presentation of Ideas) or the Business Plan (document required in the Technical Block for the presentation of Projects in the commercial or pre-commercial phase).
- 10. ONCE THE TERMS & CONDITIONS ARE PUBLISHED, WHICH ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
After reading the Terms & Conditions, the next step is the preparation and presentation of the application. Furthermore, if you are interested, you will have access to specialized advice for the shaping of the ideas and projects and the preparation of the technical and administrative documentation for the application’s presentation. In case of being interested on receiving advice, access the registration portal you will find in www.ports40.es. This advice and registration are optional, therefore, those interested in the programme who do not wish to receive technical advice can also submit their applications and contact the mailbox email@example.com for queries and resolution of doubts about the programme.
- 11. WHAT CAN THE INCUBATOR/ACCELERATOR HELP ME WITH?
As part of the Ports 4.0 programme, participants are offered free access to a network of technical tutors located in the 14 technical offices of the programme who will provide expert advice in the configuration of ideas and projects and in the preparation of technical and administrative documentation for the submission of applications. This advice is optional, therefore, those interested in the programme who do not wish to receive technical advice can also submit their applications and contact the mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org for queries and resolution of doubts about the programme. If you want to receive advice prior to the formal presentation of your application register on the virtual platform and have access to training, a personal tutor, etc.
The incubator/accelerator has 14 locations distributed throughout the whole national territory:
- A Coruña: A Coruña KPMG Office, Rúa da Fama, 1, 15001 A Coruña
- Alicante: Alicante KPMG Office, Av de Maisonnave, 19, 03003 Alicante (Alacant), Alicante
- Algeciras: APBA, Avda. de la Hispanidad, 2 11207 Algeciras
- Barcelona: Pier 01, Barcelona Tech City, Plaça de Pau Vila, 1 Bloc A, Planta 3, Porta 3A1, 08003 Barcelona
- Bilbao: Bilbao KPMG Office, Euskadi Plaza, 5, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia
- Cartagena: Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, La Milagrosa, Plaza Cronista Isidoro Valverde, s/n, 30202 Cartagena, Murcia (provisional location)
- Las Palmas: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria KPMG Office,Calle del Dr. Verneau, 1, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas
- Madrid: Madrid KPMG Office, Torre de Cristal, Paseo de la Castellana, 259C, 28046 Madrid
- Málaga: Málaga KPMG Office, Calle Marqués de Larios, 3 , 2ª planta, 29005 Málaga
- Palma: Palma de Mallorca KPMG Office, Avinguda del Comte de Sallent, 2, 07003 Palma, Illes Balears
- Santander: Faro de la Cerda. Parque de la Magdalena s/n 39005 Santander. España
- Sevilla: Sevilla KPMG Office, Av. de la Buhaira, 31, 41018 Sevilla
- Valencia: Innsomnia Office, Moll de Ponent, 46024 Valencia
- Vigo: Vigo KPMG Office, Rúa do Areal, 18, 36201 Vigo, Pontevedra
Furthermore, the incubator/accelerator will organize training days for all those interested on applying:
- Training on the preparation of a Business Model Canvas
- Training on the preparation of a Business Plan
- Training on the Port Sector
- Training on Macrotrends
- 12. WHO CAN ACCESS THE PROGRAMME?
The programme is aimed at startups, spin-off or entrepreneurs with innovative products, services or processes that improve the operations related to the port-logistic sector, that comply with Article 9 of the Terms & Conditions.
- 13. I AM A NATURAL PERSON, CAN I PRESENT A PROJECT?
Unfortunately no, natural persons may not receive funding for projects in a pre-commercialization or commercial phases (Article 9 of the Terms & Conditions).
- 14. WHICH DOCUMENTATION DO I HAVE TO APPLY?
In case of presenting an idea, you will find all the detail of the required documentation in Article 21.1 of the Terms & Conditions
In case of presenting a project, you will find all the detail of the required documentation in Article 21.2 of the Terms & Conditions
- 15. HOW DO I APPLY?
You can submit your candidacy electronically through the Electronic Registry of the General State Administration (https://sede.administracion.gob.es/PAG_Sede/ServiciosElectronicos/RegistroElectronicoComun.html) Likewise, in the case of being an individual and wishes to submit an IDEA application, as indicated in article 19.2 of the Regulatory Bases, you can submit your application in physical format at the registration window of any public body or at the own offices of State Ports. In the documentation, it is necessary to indicate the address of Puertos del Estado, Avenida del Partenón 10, 28042; Madrid Spain. For more information, please consult article 16 of Law 39/2015, of October 1, on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations.
- 16. CAN I PRESENT A PROJECT TOGETHER WITH ANOTHER COMPANY?
As stated in Article 10 of the Terms & Conditions, “groups of natural and legal persons that can carry out ideas or projects in cooperation may be considered as beneficiaries. More than one of the beneficiaries indicated in article 9 of the Terms & Conditions must participate in these projects and meet the requirements established for such beneficiaries”. Furthermore, the resulting group does not have to exist when presenting the application, it is enough to present the commitment to formalize the agreement. “The implementation commitments made by each member must be stated in the application and the award decision” (Article 10.2 of the Terms & Conditions).
- 17. CAN I PRESENT ONE OR MORE IDEAS OR PROJECTS, OR BOTH?
Yes, provided that the projects are not intended to develop the same activity or one of a very similar nature. (Article 17 of the Terms & Conditions)
- 18. DO I NEED TO PROVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE ON THE PORT-LOGISTIC SECTOR?
It is not necessary to have previous experience or knowledge on the por-logistic sector. The incubator/accelerator will organize training days on the topic that will also be uploaded to the platform for all those interested on participating to be able to access the content.
- 19. HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO APPLY?
You will have within two months to present an idea and three months to present a project from the day following the publication of the Terms & Conditions in the Official State Gazette (BOE) (Article 20.4 of the Terms & Conditions)
- 20. HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO CORRECT AN ERROR IN THE PRESENTED DOCUMENTATION?
According to Article 29 of the Terms & Conditions“the beneficiary will be required to present it within a non-renewable period of 10 days”.
- 21. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN IDEA AND A PROJECT?
The difference lies in the TRL in which the innovative product, service or process to be presented is located. As indicated in Article 3 of the Terms & Conditions of the programme:
- TRL 1: Basic principles observed (Basic Idea)
- TRL 2: Technology concept formulated
- TRL 3: Experimental proof of concept
- TRL 4: Technology validated in lab
- TRL 5: Technology validated in relevant environment
- TRL 6: Technology demonstrated in relevant environment
- TRL 7: System prototype demonstration in operational environment
- TRL 8: System complete and qualified
- TRL 9: Actual system proven in operational environment
- 22. IF I AM AN EMPLOYEE OF A PORT AUTHORITY CAN I PARTICIPATE?
Yes, as established in the second final provision, Article 3 of the Terms & Conditions, seventy-five thousand euros (75,000 euros) will be allocated to intra-enterprise entrepreneurship. " Intra-enterprise entrepreneurship is considered to be ideas presented exclusively by labour personnel of Puertos del Estado and Port Authorities. Intra-enterprise projects in the pre-commercial and commercial phase are not allowed".
- 23. HOW DO I DEMONSTRATE THAT MY INNOVATIVE PRODUCT, SERVICE OR PROCESS IS AN IDEA, PRE-COMMERCIAL PROJECT OR COMMERCIAL PROJECT?
It is important to present the innovative product, service or process to the right program. If it is not properly demonstrated that the innovative product, service or process meets the requirements for submission to the programme to which it has been submitted, it will not be eligible for the aid requested. These are the main keys to determine whether to submit an idea or a project:
- If there is no proof of concept in a logistical-port environment made prior to the submission of the application, only the following may be submitted to the IDEA programme
- If a proof of concept in a logistical-port environment is available prior to the submission of the application, then the project programme is eligible:
- Project in pre-commercial phase: results obtained must be presented at least up to the level of proof of concept development (Article 6.5 b) of the Terms & Conditions)
- Project in commercial phase: the results obtained must be demonstrated at least up to the level of deployment, once the prototype tests in a real environment have obtained demonstrable positive results (Article 6.5(c) of the Terms & Conditions)
- 24. WHO IS A FACILITATING AGENT?
A facilitating agent is the Port Authority, concessionaire or public or private agent of the logistics-port community in whose facilities the project is executed (Article 11.2 11th of the regulatory bases)
- 25. HOW COULD I GET IN CONTACT WITH A FACILITATING AGENT?
Upon request, technical tutors will serve as intermediaries to connect interested parties with the facilitating agents. However, those interested in participating in the programme can also contact the facilitating agents independently.
- 26. IS IT POSSIBLE TO IMPLEMENT A PROJECT IN THE COMMERCIAL PHASE IN MORE THAN ONE PORT AFTER THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROGRAMME? AND INTERNATIONALLY?
The expected result for a project in the Commercial Phase will be that the resulting product, service or process is in a position to be commercialized, even at an international level.
- 27. CAN EXPENSES OR INVESTMENTS MADE PRIOR TO THE SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION FOR A PROJECT OR IDEA BE CONSIDERED ELIGIBLE COSTS?
The purpose of the Ports 4.0 Fund is to subsidise the innovative component of an idea or project in order to help it to increase its technological maturity; i.e. its TRL.
Therefore, all the expenses or investments made before the call to reach the degree of technological maturity with which they are presented to the call, and which means the starting point of the idea or project for its technological maturity, are not eligible.
This should not be confused with the contributions agreed between members of a group to finance the additional amounts (the remaining 40% or 20% depending on the type of project) necessary for the maturation of the project.
- 28. WHAT IS THE MEAINING OF "INNOVATIVE COMPONENT"?
The individual or legal entity is responsible for defining, quantifying (in %) and justifying the innovative component of the idea or project presented. In the event that doubts exist during the evaluation of the application by the Instructional Body regarding the definition, quantification and/or justification of the innovative component, the investigating body will contact the individual or legal entity that has presented the application in order to detail, redefine, re-quantify or re-justify this innovative component on which its proposal for the Ports Fund 4.0 is based.
- 29. HOW WILL THE SUBSEQUENT PATENT BE MANAGED IN THE EVENT THAT IT IS REGISTERED AT THE END OF THE PROJECT?
In the technical block of the documentation to be provided for the application of each Idea or Project, it is necessary to specify the objective and plan for the management of the intellectual property, as well as the patents in the case they have been registered.
If a consortium has been formed to submit an application, the objective and plan for the management of the intellectual property, and of the patents if they have been registered, must also be included in the agreement or arrangement setting out the rights and obligations of the participants in the consortium, as well as the implementation commitments and the amount of the grant to be applied in each case if they are beneficiaries.
It should be noted that the Ports 4.0 Fund is a grant and therefore does not participate in any type of exploitation rights or patents.